Getting engaged is a pretty big deal and hopefully it’s something I will only experience once in my lifetime. It was really important to me to tell as many of the extra special people in my life in person, which is why I went through great lengths to keep my engagement private. Until now. Dave and I met in Korea a few years ago and I’ve known he’s the man for me since the beginning of our relationship. Besides being an exceptional human and treating me amazingly, he puts up with me and actually finds my quirks (putting it kindly) charming. We have a pretty dreamy life together. I’ve actually known a marriage proposal was coming. You see, buying an engagement ring in South Korea isn’t an easy task so I knew that Dave was buying a ring when he went on his business trip to Texas in October. Dave had also already spilled the beans that the proposal would be in 2014 so my mind was working overtime to try to figure out the when, where and how. Fortunately, Dave was feeding me all sorts of false information to throw me off the scent.
A few weeks ago I was at the department store with my friend Carol when my phone rang. I always keep my phone on silent so it was just a coincidence that I even looked at my phone as Dave was calling. I answered the phone with a joking, “What?!” and Carol gave me a look and I smiled, teasingly. Dave instructed me that I needed to go home immediately. I started asking why, but I already knew that the time had come. I glanced over at Carol and made a pointing gesture at my ring finger and she looked giddy. Dave told me that we were going on a trip and I needed to go home and pack. I felt nervous and excited. This was going to be the weekend I got engaged and I still had no idea where we were going! I apologized to Carol for leaving so abruptly as I left to go home to pack. I was pretty excited to find out that Dave had taken a long weekend off work and we were going to Jeju Island, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and a really great place for a trip. We’ve been there twice before and still have plenty more sites on our list of places to see there. I was thrilled to be able to cross a few more things off my list. There’s public transportation in Jeju, but to make the most of a short trip it’s best to rent a car. Unfortunately, Dave realized halfway through the flight that he left his international drivers license in the glovebox of our car at the airport. Oops! This wasn’t ideal because I suffer from pretty severe motion sickness and I don’t do well with buses and taxis. We decided to laugh it off and make the best of a bad situation and we continued on to the hotel. The first time we went to Jeju Island together was pretty early on in our relationship and it was my very first time to stay at a 5 star hotel. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Jeju again and it brought back lots of great memories and reminded me how much my life has changed in the 3 years I’ve been with Dave. Because Dave’s weekend plan had relied heavily on us being able to drive ourselves around, he needed to make a backup plan. He went down to talk to the concierge while I stayed in the room with the balcony door open listening to the sound of the waves crash. It was a great way to destress after an eventful day. The next day we woke up to terrible weather. Poor Dave. Neither of his plans included a backup rainy day plan because the weather forecast all week had said that it would be a beautiful day. Again Dave had to go back down to talk to the concierge. I couldn’t help but laugh. This weekend away was definitely off to a rocky start, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing about the way anything happened.
Dave booked a taxi for the day so after lunch we set off on our engagement day adventures. I have to admit that when we pulled up to the Alive Museum I was really curious about our plans for the day. I was surprised that Dave brought me to the trick art museum because I have been to a lot of trick art museums, even this one. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and went along with it. When we got inside Dave explained to me why we were there. You see, last time we went to Jeju was when my friend Joni was visiting from the States and she requested we go to the trick art museum. Joni and I had a blast walking around taking photos, but we couldn’t manage to get Dave to want to participate. He just played photographer all day. So Dave really wanted to come back to this trick art museum to make up for being a jerk (his words, not mine). I thought that was really sweet and I had fun following him around the museum and taking his picture while he became part of the art.
After the trick art museum we headed to Yakcheonsa Temple. In his explanation, Dave told me that he has never liked visiting temples. I would have never guessed that his first voluntary temple experience was with me, almost 3 years ago. The things guys will do for the girls they love! So he thanked me for changing his mind and for dragging him all over Korea (and Asia for that matter) and visiting lots of beautiful temples along the way. Yakcheonsa Temple is absolutely gorgeous. If you ever visit Jeju Island, I can’t recommend this temple enough. It’s really unique compared to other buddhist temples in Korea. A lot of tourists visit this temple so they are used to people walking around and taking lots of photos. After we walked around all four stories of the massive temple building, we made our way back to the hotel to change clothes for dinner. Dave made a reservation at a local Italian restaurant. It was so bizarre eating dinner, knowing that I would be proposed to at any point that night. Everything started to feel real as our taxi took us back to the hotel. Dave was about to go from my boyfriend to my fiancé! Dave had been emailing the hotel for weeks to arrange to have the room decorated while we were away at dinner. He wanted rose petals and candles everywhere, but there must have been a miscommunication somewhere along the way. No matter what the room looked like or how Dave proposed, the important part to me was that it was sincere and came from the heart.
Once we got in the room I decided to go into the bathroom and give Dave a few minutes to compose himself. When I came out, he asked me to come out onto our balcony. It was completely dark, except one flickering candle on the far end of the big semi-circle balcony (he later told me that the entire balcony was meant to be covered in candles). Everything he said is a complete blur, but I remember having my arms wrapped around his neck and staring into his eyes. When he finished his pre-proposal speech, he got down on one knee and asked the big question, “Will you marry me?” I was so excited and immediately said, “Yeah……. but I can’t see it! Can we go inside??” [Note: Trust me when I say it was more cute than rude.] Once we were inside he got down on one knee and asked again. This time I answered with an emphatic, “Mmmhm!” Even though the weekend definitely did not go as planned, it was still perfect. I love all of the imperfections and think it makes the whole thing even better. It’s a weekend we will never forget. I can’t wait to be Mrs. David Baas!
The Wedding Planning
Dave and I plan to get married in Dallas in January 2016. This trip home has been a great opportunity to start planning our wedding. I’ve hired a great (and affordable!) planner named Megan of Celebrate Colorfully. She has been such a lifesaver with recommending vendors, venues and scheduling appointments. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have a dress, venue and date all locked down. Exciting, isn’t it?
I know this was a long post… Thanks for reading this far down the page!